MADERA – Madera County Department of Agriculture released its annual crop report last week during the regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors. While the report showed a decrease overall, Madera County is ranked 10th among the state’s 58 counties. The county’s agricultural commissioner, Stephanie McNeill, explained that the decrease is due to lower prices for some commodities as markets stabilize. The overall value of crops for 2016 was about $1.8 billion.
“We expect to see that go up,” McNeill said. “We’ve had a lot of new trees go in that are immature, that are nonproductive yet.” McNeill said last year she expected six to seven thousand more almonds, and it ended up being closer to 10 thousand. She added that people were pulling out grapes, such as the Thompson variety, and planting almonds.
Almonds brought just under $600 million, milk ranked second with a dollar value of about $271 million, grapes came in third at $270 million, pistachios fourth at $233 million and cattle and calves was fifth with about $62 million.
Also ranking among the top ten were pollination at $48 million, replacement heifers at $32 million, nursery stock at just under $30 million, tomatoes (fresh and processed) at $28 million and oranges at about $22 million.
Other commodities included field crops such as alfalfa, corn, cotton, oat, pasture and rangeland, wheat and winter forage.
McNeill said that in the last two-year cycle in regard to statewide farmland mapping standards, about 4,500 acres were converted from grazing or non irrigated lands into permanent crops.
Madera County products were shipped to 67 countries in 2016, including Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Vietnam.
“Madera County has a presence worldwide,” McNeill said. “Madera County does feed the world.”